'Conspiracy theories': Texas AG was reported to the FBI for crime - yet the whistleblower is not sure of evidence?

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The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has started off with some early duds for the prosecution and jubilation for the defense.

Whistleblower Ryan Vassar, the former deputy attorney general for legal counsel, was among the former Paxton aides who went to the FBI in fall 2020 to complain that Paxton was abusing his power and position to help a man named Nate Paul.

Paul, a major Paxton campaign donor, is also an Austin-based real estate tycoon. According to the articles of impeachment against Paxton, Paul and the Attorney General colluded to investigate Paul’s business enemies as his real estate development began to flounder.

The video of Vassar’s testimony can be seen here as Vassar is being pressed for why exactly he went to the FBI in October 2020. Vassar admitted under oath that he went to the FBI because he believed "a crime had occurred."

When pressed by council for Paxton on whether Vassar had evidence, he admitted he had no ‘’physical evidence that a crime occurred.’’

The court also heard from another whistleblower named David Maxwell, who was once Paxton’s director of law enforcement. Maxwell also went to the FBI to discuss Paxton and Paul’s relationship. Maxwell testified that he was asked to probe into Paul’s allegations against numerous law enforcement agencies.

Maxwell found Paul’s claims to ‘’absolutely ludicrous’’ and ‘’conspiracy theories.’’ Paxton retaliated against Maxwell by undermining Maxwell’s claims.

Paxton’s attorneys have suggested Maxwell did not take Paul’s allegations seriously enough and insinuated that Paxton expected more from Maxwell. Maxwell is looked at in Texas law enforcement circles as an "icon," according to the defense.

Most of the stories coming out of the trial have centered around Paxton lawyer Mitch Little’s cross examination of Vassar on Thursday. Little focused on one key point regarding Vassar’s decision to go to the FBI on September 30th of last year.

Little asked Vassar on the witness stand, ‘’I want to get this straight, you went to the FBI on September 30th, with your compatriots and reported the elected attorney general of this state for a crime without any evidence? ‘’

Vassar flatly replied, "That’s right. We took no evidence."

Vassar had disputed the questions from Paxton’s defense team. The whistleblower has put forward the premise that neither he nor his compatriots should have to bring any hard evidence that a public official has committed a crime to the FBI.

Regardless of Vassar’s reasoning, the ‘’no evidence’’ comment has begun to take on a life of its own. "The whole case is falling apart," Jonathan Strickland, who heads a pro Paxton group in Texas, told Steve Bannon on his War Room podcast on Friday.

Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial is set to convene again on Monday morning at 9:00am.
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